Qatar on Monday unveiled plans to construct 45 new public schools at an estimated capital cost of about QR4bn over the next five years through public-private partnership (PPP), the first of its kind in the social infrastructure in the country.
Under the PPP model, the private sector will bring the full package of design, construction, financing and facilities management to the project. The construction of schools, each with a capacity of 750 students, is based on population projections by municipalities.
The PPP structure for schools in Qatar follows a similar structure that is followed in the UK and Australia. The key aspect of Qatar’s model is that any demand risk for the schools will not be transferred to the private sector PPP partner.
The projects will be divided into six investment packages with the first package -- comprising eight schools -- to be launched during the first quarter of this year. The financial closure is expected by 2020, following which construction has to be completed within 15 months.
The request for proposal (RFP) for the package 2 (of 6-8 schools) is expected to be submitted in 2019 and delivery date is scheduled for 2022. The package three and four (of 6-8 schools) will have RFP cut off in 2020 and delivery in 2022; and the package 5 and 6 (of 6-8 schools) will have RFP date in 2021 and delivery in 2023.
For the first package, lands have already been identified and made available and are ready for the construction. Of the eight schools, four will be located in North of Doha at Umm Slal and the remaining four in the South of Doha at Wakra/Wukair areas. All schools should be developed simultaneously so that the academic year could start from 2021.
The projects' announcement came at a workshop, organised by the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and the Public Works Authority (Ashghal).
Asserting schools fit the profile of successful PPPs, a power-point presentation said the PPPs can play a role in developing the Qatari private sector and adoption of new technology.
Highlighting that this (school) project is a pilot to testing the PPP mechanism, officials said new PPP projects in several sectors will be announced soon.
Khamis al-Mohannadi, Head of the technical committee for the encouragement and participation of the private sector in economic development projects, said over the past three or four years, some QR26bn has been invested in many sectors such as food security, building and construction, health, education, logistics, tourism and industry.
The Ministry of Education and Higher Education will be responsible for students, teaching, school administrative activities, managing the school; while the Ministry of Finance guarantees payment based on PPP policy and guideline and Ashghal will be responsible for project management for procurement, design and construction.
There would be inflation protection for the payment in terms of the payments provisions provided by the government, the presentation said.
Saud bin Abdullah al-Attiyah, Director of Economic Policy and Research Department at the Ministry of Finance, said the payments from the government will be guaranteed for 25 years.Last updated: January 28 2019 10:14 PM
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